Erie Greyhound ticket office closed but buses still running
A handful of passengers waited outside a Greyhound bus in Erie on Thursday morning.
Greyhound’s Erie ticket office and waiting room are closed, possibly permanently.
Passengers must now get on or off Greyhound buses behind the office, located in the Intermodal Transportation Hub on East Bayfront Parkway.
Jim Joseph Thomas, 29, an MBA student from Gannon University from India, waited Thursday morning to board a bus for Cleveland, intending to travel to Chicago for his summer vacation. He arrived at Greyhound station at 8:30 a.m. to be there with enough time to catch a scheduled 9:20 a.m. bus. The bus, from Buffalo, New York, arrived at 10:08 a.m.
“It’s really bad,” Thomas said. “I sat here when it was cold outside. There are benches, but they’re hard metal and you can’t sit on them for more than five minutes.”
At 1:15 p.m. Thursday, that bus was still in Erie. Mechanical problems caused the delay as Greyhound sent another bus from Cleveland, according to a passenger at the Erie terminal.
Why the Erie Greyhound Terminal is closed
The local Greyhound office is closed because Greyhound no longer has a ticket agent in the office, said Jeremy Peterson, chief executive of the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, which owns the intermodal hub. Greyhound Lines is the tenant of the building.
It’s unclear whether the box office will be permanently closed, Peterson said.
“We heard a rumor from a Greyhound employee that, starting May 1, there will be no ticket agent in the office for a 30-day trial period,” Peterson said. “Nothing has been officially sent to us by Greyhound. But they continue to seek and drop off clients.”
There hasn’t been a Greyhound ticket agent on duty since May 1, Peterson said.
EMTA has contacted Greyhound for more information.
“As soon as we heard the rumor, we contacted Greyhound through our realtor and head office told us they would contact Greyhound’s operations department to find out what was going on,” Peterson said Wednesday. . “We haven’t heard anything more yet.”
Peterson said Thursday morning that ETMA still hasn’t heard from Greyhound about the status of the local office.
The Greyhound office and hold remain closed.
“There’s a bit of outrage for Greyhound customers, I imagine,” Peterson said. “If they want to buy a ticket or wait inside or use the restroom, they can’t. But if Greyhound doesn’t have anyone in the office, we can’t leave it open. We have to take into account the safety and protect our other tenants of the building.”
Other tenants in the building include VisitErie, the Erie County tourism promotion agency, and the Erie office of Congressman Mike Kelly.
2022 Erie Tall Ships:Festival tickets on sale, first ships announced
The Erie Times-News has contacted Greyhound Lines for comment.
The Erie box office is now an e-ticket sales location, Crystal Booker, a spokeswoman for Greyhound, said in emails to the Erie Times-News.
“It’s a permanent arrangement”
“It’s a permanent arrangement,” Booker said Wednesday.
“Greyhound stops at a variety of locations across its extensive network. As with the rest of the intercity bus industry, some of these stops are self-service locations,” Booker said in a statement emailed Thursday. “After a thorough review of our service in the region, Greyhound has decided to transition to the aforementioned industry-wide model so that we can continue to provide this essential service to the community.
“While this is a change from how we previously operated in the region, customers can continue to rely on Greyhound for affordable and convenient travel,” Booker said.
Customers can online booking, on the Greyhound app, or by calling its customer service hotline, Booker said. Greyhound passengers can also pay for tickets in cash by visiting a participating partner retailer.
Greyhound’s lease for its ticket office and terminal in Erie extends for another four years, Peterson said.
EMTA on Wednesday opened a new counter for EMTA customers at the Intermodal Center.
“We had a window inside next to the Greyhound ticket office and now we are installing a window outside the intermodal center where our passengers will be able to get EMTA passes and tickets,” Peterson said. “We want to make sure our employees are taken care of. We have 45% of our fixed-route EMTA buses using the Intermodal site as a hub.”
Seven or eight Greyhound buses come in and out of the intermodal center daily, Peterson said.
The closure of the Greyhound ticket office will not affect local EMTA bus service, he said.
Editor Christopher Millette contributed to this report.